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OTHM-Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies

Online Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies

Course Description

The objective of the OTHM Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies qualification is to provide learners with an in depth understanding of the operations and structure of businesses. Successful completion of this qualification will equip learners with some of the underpinning knowledge and skills required to succeed in employment or further studies.


The Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies qualification can be offered to learners from age 16. OTHM does not specify entry requirements for these qualification, but delivery centres are required to ensure that learners admitted to the programme have sufficient capability at the right level to undertake the learning and assessment.

OTHM Centre must ensure learners are recruited with integrity onto appropriate qualifications that will:

  • meet their needs
  • enable and facilitate learning and achievement
  • enable progression.


OTHM qualifications at RQF Level 3 represent practical knowledge, skills, capabilities and competences that are assessed in academic terms as being equivalent to GCE AS/A Levels.


The Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies qualification consists of 2 mandatory units plus 1 optional unit for a combined total of 30 credits, 300 Total Qualification Hours (TQT) and 180 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the completed qualification. 

Mandatory Units 

  • Introduction to Research and Academic Skills (10 credits): provides learners with a grounding in the key research and academic skills required for successful study at this level and subsequent employment and/or further study.
  • Introduction to the Business Environment (10 credits): enables learners to understand different types of businesses, their functions and structures, as well as an introduction to basic marketing principles. They will be required to explore the micro and macro business environment, understand the concept of quality and carry out basic business analyses.

 Optional Units (Choose any 1)

  • Introduction to Customer Service (10 credits): develops learners’ understanding of the principles that apply to customer service delivery in organisations across different sectors. Learners will understand how to propose and implement improvements to customer service.
  • Using IT for Business (10 credits): familiarises learners with the use, application and development of core IT skills, including preparation for presentations, and formats for business writing such as a report.
  • Introduction to Marketing (10 credits): develops learners’ understanding of the principles that apply to marketing in a business environment, including marketing models, sales principles, and marketing planning.

Duration & delivery

The qualification is designed to be delivered over 3 months for full-time study but it is also flexible in its delivery in order to accommodate part-time and distance learning.

The qualification is delivered through Distance Learning via our online learning portal.

Assessment & verification

All units within this qualification are internally assessed by the centre and externally verified by OTHM. The qualifications are criterion referenced, based on the achievement of all the specified learning outcomes.

To achieve a ‘pass’ for a unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria. Judgement that the learners have successfully fulfilled the assessment criteria is made by the Assessor.

The Assessor should provide an audit trail showing how the judgement of the learners’ overall achievement has been arrived at.


Successful completion of the Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies qualification enables learners’ direct entry into Year 1 of a three-year UK Bachelor’s degree or pursue Level 4 Diplomas. As this qualification is approved and regulated by Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulation), many universities acknowledge the ability of learners after studying Level 3 Certificate in Business Studies and consider for direct entry into a range of their Bachelor's degree programmes. For more information visit University Progressions page in this website.